Bart Ehrman vs Craig Evans at Acadia University

Another great debate is coming up.  Dr. Ehrman, a former evangelical turned agnostic, is going head-to-head again with Dr. Craig Evans. This time at Acadia University and St. Mary’s University, in in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Ehrman and Evans are going to debate each other again for two days. They might be sick of each other at the end, or maybe, one might convert the other?…Not.  This should be interesting because they understand each other’s theology and points of view well.  Theological spars like this are interesting because when both hold strongly to their own convictions.  One might wonder why either do not come to the same conclusions.

Anyway, this will be very interesting. I wish I could be there myself, but unfortunately it’s way over in Atlantic Canada.  If you in Nova Scotia, check it out. [Tickets seem to be all gone now.  Maybe they’ll make the DVD or recording available online].  But there’s an “After the Debate will be held at Rock Church the next day, Saturday, Jan. 21 9:00-3:30PM.

Friday, January 20 at 7PM at Acadia University, and
Thursday, January 19 at 7PM at Mary’s University
Admission is FREE [SOLD OUT]

Acadia University and St. Mary’s University
www.Religionsoup.ca

Sponsored by The Navigators

Ligonier Ministry 2010 National Conference Live

I just learned of Ligonier Ministry’s 2010 National Conference, which is still happening now and streaming live here available to all for free.  Theologians and pastors like Alistair Begg, Michael Horton, Albert Mohler, John MacArthur and more are being hosted and moderated by R.C. Sproul.

2009 Apologetics Symposium & 2010 Mockingbird Conference

New Reformation Press (NRP) has made available two free lectures from the 2009 Apologetics Symposium.  The speakers, Craig Parton and Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, speak about Christian apologetics from a Lutheran context (LC-MS).  Parton, a Lutheran convert from evangelicalism, says apologetics used to be an academic discipline in the training of Lutheran pastors.  Apologetics is not new to evangelicals and orthodox Reformed but is now a long lost discipline in Lutheran seminaries.    Converts to Lutheranism like myself, find apologetics vital in witness and evangelism.

(Hat Tip: NRP) The 2010 Mockingbird Conference is also available. Rod Rosenbladt and C. FitzSimons were the speakers at this conference attended mostly be Reformed and Lutherans.  If you love the core traditional beliefs of the Reformation, you will enjoy listening to this.

P.S.  One of the greatest Christian apologists of the past century is Dr. John Warwick Montgomery. His audio recordings and books at available at the Canadian Institute of Law, Theology and Public Policy.

Focus on Marriage simulcast very helpful

I spent Saturday with my wife at a live simulcast of Focus on Marriage (hosted by Focus on the Family).  The speakers were great. The encouragement, wisdom and education we received was amazing. I learned that as a Christian couple and family, our focus on Christ will help us have a good marriage. Also, that forgiveness is key. It helps save marriages.

I would encourage all married couples to check this out for next year. It will benefit your marriage whether you already have a good marriage or want to improve it.  Better to keep a good thing going well than to wait until you have to fight a forest fire.

Focus on the Family also has a live simulcast for Focus on Parenting.  I know I could always use help in this area.

Time for equipping at a ministry conference

I have been looking forward to going the BreakForth (which is known for being the largest equipping and renewal conference in North America). This will be my first time going to BreakForth so I am really excited to learn new things while being blessed by the line-up of excellent speakers. It’s finally a time for a break from the hectic pace of congregational ministry. Due to a recent snow storm here in western Canada, the two congregations in which I serve ended up cancelling this Sunday service due to the snowstorm. Hopefully we won’t have snow while driving to Edmonton January 28 – February 1.

Global Leadership Summit misses out on core issues of pastoral ministry

As I briefly blogged before about attending the Global Leadership Summit, I report that it was an overall positive experience.  It is geared to large to megasize churches.  Since I shepherd two small churches, much of what was irrelevant to smaller congregations.  Moreover, I felt that a lot of what was spoken was about inspiring leaders to lead rather than about pastoral leadership.

It was nice to listen to speakers like Bono, David Gergen, Jessica Jackley but more than 98% of their speeches were irrelevant to the work of pastoral care and ministry. The speeches by Harvey Carey, and Wes Stafford could have been heard at any church’s sermon. Gary Hamel’s speech was about business. The only speech that was focussed on pastoral ministry was that of Bill Hybels’. Unfortunately there wasn’t more of it.

Willow Creek’s Pastor Bill Hybels, is a pastor and a leader, and the two terms are not synonymous terms.  A leader is a leader who leads and inspires but does not necessarily includes a spiritual component.  A pastor does this too, but more specifically, a pastor core purpose is to provides pastoral care and ministry.

After this conference, I do not think I will return for another because I am looking for more of a pastoral focus.  My preference in the future will be to attend conferences that are geared specifically toward pastoral leadership.  If you know of any conferences out there specifically directed to pastoral leadership, let me know.

In late January, I look forward to attending Breakforth, which is the largest equipping conference in North America.